Japanese student loved her time here, but excited to see family

Japanese student Mei Oshigiri, right, poses for a picture with Kana Arai, a fellow Japanese student.

For someone like me, who has never lived outside of Japan in the 20 years since my birth, American life in 10 months gave me a lot of surprising and unforgettable memories.  

It was enjoyable to experience new things for me, but sometimes it was hard to adapt to American culture.  

At first, I felt the food is different between America and Japan. I was glad to eat a variety of American cuisine in Huden. However, there were times when I found it hard to enjoy the unique American flavors that I would not eat in Japan, such as the cinnamon seasoning. 

And it was funny that I could eat pizza every day!  

In addition, I could learn about American culture, like the difference in radio advertisements. American advertisements take longer than Japanese advertisements to communicate a product’s capabilities to consumers directly. 

I have taken the Media Writing class and learned about radio advertising, so I really enjoyed listening to the radio that was playing on Huden from time to time, and it was a valuable experience to learn about and hear about such contrasting cultures.

The system of the university was a little bit different too. In Japan, university students will take their credits mainly in lecture-style classes. In the contrast, American universities have not only lecture-style classes but also activities classes.  

I was also surprised to hear that additional tuition may be charged depending on classes. In addition, all classes are 90 minutes. However, class time at Castleton University is different for each lecture. And some lecture-style classes are 75 minutes, which was helpful for me to maintain my concentration during a class as a non-native English speaker. 

What surprised me outside of the campus was the vast land. 

I know how America is enormous, but when I came here, and I felt it strongly. 

I often took a walk to Dollar General, and there were many houses with big backyards and swimming pools. I still remember calling my father the first time I saw a house with a swimming pool. In addition, It was interesting that I found a jet lag between New York and Las Vegas even though these two states are in the same country.  

Now, I am very much looking forward to meeting my parents soon, but at the same time, I feel sad because I will not be able to see the friends I made at Castleton University as easily after I return to Japan. I want to make the most of the various experiences I gained at Castleton University to study hard at a university in Japan. 

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